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Does anyone have any expereince with buying a mini in Europe (Belgium) and having it shipped to the US? Likewise, can one go to the Factory in the UK and buy it directly and have it shipped to the State?
 

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you'd have a hell of a time getting past customs and epa regulations, assuming you got it in you might not be able to register it for use on the road.
 

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It was a few years ago, so things might have changed, but I once knew someone from the US who picked up his new US-spec Merc in Germany, drove it round Europe for a few weeks and then had it shipped home. Apparently had no problems.
 

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I considered whether I could import my UK registered Cooper to Australia.

In summary, I will not be doing this.

The reasons:

A. The import duty and Goods & Services Tax make the proposition too expensive. It adds something like 25% to the purchase price of the car - regardless of whether it will be somewhat depreciated after a couple years of use.

B. I would need to modify the car to get it to compley with Australian Design Standards. Issues such as the placement of the speedo need to be changed, but I am sure that there are lots of small things.

My advice is:

1. If you can order a USA compliant vehicle in $USD through your US dealer and get the full US spec, warranty and compliance - AND arrange to collect it from the factory (I think that they are still building the US spec at Oxford UK).

2. Check to see if you actually save money doing it that way - from what I have heard of factory colelctions for VWs and BMWs it only covers the cost of getting there. So I suppose you get a free holiday but not much else.

3. Unlike Europe where you can drive the car back to the UK. Getting a car from the UK to the USA means shipping charges and potential handling damage.

Research and investigate the options and costs.

Cheers

Garry
 

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BMW has a program specifically for this in Germany. They set it up as a touring vacation. You fly over, buy the car, tour Europe, ship it to the States. They set it all up. Wonder if they'd consider it for a UK buy and ride vacation?
 

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Unless a car is over 25 years old, it may not be imported into the US if it does not comply fully with all US vehicle regulations for that model year (including safety and emissions regulations).

Theoretically, an owner can satisfy US Customs and the EPA by completely transforming a non-complying vehicle into proper US-model vehicle specification for the model year, but in reality this is completely cost prohibitive. (This can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more and may actually involve crash testing the vehicle to prove it meet standards - kind of a catch 22) Reportedly, a while back Bill Gates tried to import a Porsche 959 (a model not sold in the US) for his personal use but it was seized by Customs and not allowed in - he did not try to 'federalize' it as it was too expensive to do so. Non complying cars stopped by Customs are either exported or crushed.

One exception is that a foreign national working in the US can bring in a non-complying car for personal use, but the car must be exported out of the US after a short period (1 year I believe) or face being crushed.

When US citizens pick up Volvos, BMWs, or Mercedes models in Europe, they do so as part of established programs manufacturers have created designed to ensure the cars are completely US-spec models. (Trivia: It used to be that the catalytic converters of the cars were removed to allow the owners to tour Europe because unleaded fuel was not to be found there, then the converters were reinstalled for shipment back to the US. Now that Europe has unleaded fuel readily available they can leave the converters on.)

Since there is no current factory delivery program established for the MINI, the only place to purchase a new US-spec MINI is at a US MINI dealer.

See this thread:

http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3893
 

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This is why you dont see many:
Lotus Elise's
McLaren F1's
Jaguar XJ220's

Over the pond:) :) :) :D
 

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Wow, BruceK, you are a man with many answers! Thanks for sharing your knowledge! :)

In regards to Elise's and McLaren's, I've read somewhere that Lotus Elise's will come to the states as an '03 model. There are not that many McLaren's in the world to begin with, but I am aware of a handful currently in the states. The CEO of Oracle has one. And another silver one seen cruising around boston is owned by Herb Chambers, the owner of the largest chain of dealerships in the area. There's also a black one around Boston.



Speaking of importing cars to the states, the one car that I really want to see here is the RS4! :rolleyes:

smiffy said:
This is why you dont see many:
Lotus Elise's
McLaren F1's
Jaguar XJ220's
Over the pond:) :) :) :D
 

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How about this :confused: :confused:

Its a Mclaren F1 LM (le Mans)
Its 1 of only 5 in the world & was only available in old Mclaren Orange
And its for sale!!!!!
And yes.....I want One :D :D :D :D :D
 

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There is an obscure exception to the US importing rules that basically allows a very limited number of certain cars of "special or historical importance" into the US without meeting federal vehicle regulations for the model year car. Several years ago AutoWeek magazine did an article on exactly what this means - but even then it was not too clear which cars would be approved by the government to be licensed for street use. (bringing in racecars and other off road vehicles is no problem)

The article did make it clear that most mass production cars (classic Mini, Lotus Elise, etc.) would not qualify, but perhaps a Ferrari F50 or a Trabant would be okay due to some sort of "special or historical importance" as viewed by the government body that controls this. I know that at least one Jag 220 made it in and I would guess that's how the McLaren F1 got in as well.
 

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I know of another important XJ220 that *almost* made it in, but got inpounded by the Police at Heathrow Airport!
 

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Bruce K is "the man" anyway my wifes Boss is a doctor and he purchased his Volvo thru a similar program and love every moment of it:D
 

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BruceK said:
)

I know that at least one Jag 220 made it in
Would this be the XJ220 in Gone In 60 Seconds :confused: :confused: :D :D :D
 
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